The Community Solutions Program (CSP) is a year-long professional leadership development program for people who are working to improve their communities by addressing issues related to the environment, peace and conflict resolution, transparency and accountability, and women and gender. Community leaders will be selected to participate in the program that includes:
Four-month fellowship in the United States: Community Solutions fellows are matched with host organizations throughout the U.S. where they complete a four-month, hands-on professional experience
Community Leadership Institute: Community Solutions fellows participate in the Community Leadership Institute, a leadership training program designed to strengthen their leadership and management skills. The Institute includes face-to-face trainings, online courses, professional coaching, and networking
Community-based initiatives: While in the U.S. and with the support of their U.S. host organization, Community Solutions fellows design and plan a community development initiative or project to carry out after they return home. Once the fellows depart the U.S., they put these projects into action in their home communities
The application for the 2023-2024 Community Solutions Program is now open!
Detailed application instructions can be downloaded by the link below. Please review the program requirements prior to starting an application to ensure that you are eligible. Please note that eligibility requirements are determined by the U.S. Department of State and exceptions cannot be made. If, after reviewing the application instructions, you have additional questions, please e-mail http://[email protected].
Application instructions (PDF, 205 KB)
Application Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (PDF, 212 KB)
To be eligible for the Community Solutions Program, applicants must meet the requirements listed below. Applications that do not meet these eligibility requirements will be disqualified and will not be reviewed by the selection committee.
You are between the ages of 25 and 38 as of January 1, 2023
You are a citizen of one of the eligible countries listed below
You are living and working in your home country
Individuals with refugee status working on behalf of their home community may be given special consideration
You have at least two years of experience working on community development, either as a full-time or part-time employee or volunteer
You are not currently participating in an academic, training, or research program in the U.S.
You have a high level of proficiency in spoken and written English at the time of application
Semifinalists will be required to take or submit recent scores for a TOEFL or IELTS English language test
You are available to travel to the U.S. for four months from August to December 2023
You are not a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. and have not applied for U.S. permanent residency within the past three years
You are eligible to receive a U.S. J-1 visa
Applicants who have participated in an exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Government must have fulfilled their two-year home residency requirement
You are committed to returning to your home country for a minimum of two years after completing the program and
You are not a current IREX employee or consultant, or their immediate family member
Eligible Countries by Region
Africa: Botswana, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
East Asia and the Pacific: Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu, and Vietnam
Europe: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey, and Ukraine
Middle East and North Africa: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and West Bank/Palestinian Territories
South and Central Asia: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan
Western Hemisphere: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela
The CSP team provides a range of disability support to fellows, beginning with the CSP application process through the end of the fellowship. Examples of disability support services and accommodations include:
Screen reader friendly application
Captioned and pre-recorded video interviews
Accommodations for English language testing
Mobility assistance devices as needed
Sign language interpreting
Live captioning and transcripts for in person and online courses
ADA accessible rooms for in-person events
Software such as JAWS
Community assistance and community training
The program covers the cost of most expenses associated with:
J-1 visa support
Round-trip travel from participants’ home city to the U.S.
Monthly allowance to cover housing, meals, and other living expenses while in the U.S. and
Accident and sickness health coverage
Note about COVID-19: IREX intends to implement the Community Solutions Program in-person in the United States from August to December 2023 if public health concerns abate. IREX, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and will adjust program implementation accordingly. Ensuring the safety and well-being of CSP participants, partners, and communities is and will continue to be IREX’s highest priorities.